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42inch e-paper signage prototype debuts in Japan

18 Mar 2013

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A 42inch electronic paper (e-paper) prototype digital sign has been demonstrated by Toppan Printing Company Ltd. and Plastic Logic Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan just recently. The companies said that this is the first time in the world that a flexible, reflective digital signage module over 40 inches in size, using organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs), has been publicly shown.

The large-area flexible electrophoretic display (EPD) module consists of 16 10.7inch Plastic Logic monochrome flexible plastic displays, which have been tiled together, in a 4 x 4 configuration, to create a 42inch diagonal display with an effective pixel pitch of 0.7mm. This resolution is approximately six times higher than existing EPD signage, which makes it particularly suitable for applications with close viewing distances. The inherent bi-stability of Plastic Logic's displays (the image is maintained even when there is no power) means that the module has very low power consumption. Moreover, because the displays are reflective, which is the same as paper, they can not only be read in any lighting condition, including bright sunlight, but also from almost any angle, making them ideal for digital signage solutions both outdoors and indoors. (See also Tablet prototype looks and feels like paper.)

Being less than 3mm thick and very lightweight, the flexible large-format EPD signage can be hung on a wall like a poster. Furthermore, it enables a wide range of new and improved applications, such as informational signage in public facilities, which can be quickly updated to provide disaster-related information in an emergency situation where battery-operation is required, due to its ultra-low power consumption.

Plastic Logic e-paper

The 42inch EPD module consists of 16 10.7inch monochrome flexible plastic displays, which have been tiled together.

Toppan Printing has been developing large-area EPD signage since 2004 and has extensive expertise in various applications. Plastic Logic has been leading the development of flexible plastic EPD based on OTFTs since 2007 and operates the world's first and currently only volume manufacturing facility for organic electronics, where it manufactures flexible plastic displays (colour and monochrome) of various sizes. Both companies will work on market opportunities for modular, large-area flexible EPD signage, offering a range of sizes going forward.

Plastic Logic's CEO, Indro Mukerjee stated, "This 42inch daylight-readable digital signage module is just one of the many exciting and varied applications of our plastic flexible displays, which not only enable particularly light and thin end applications, but also revolutionary form factors, such as wearable and mobile devices."

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